A new meta-analysis study conducted by Syracuse University Professor Stephanie Ortigue is getting attention around the world. The groundbreaking study, “The Neuroimaging of Love,” reveals falling in love can elicit not only the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine, but also affects intellectual areas of the brain. Researchers also found falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second…
Results from Ortigue’s team revealed when a person falls in love, 12 areas of the brain work in tandem to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopression. The love feeling also affects sophisticated cognitive functions, such as mental representation, metaphors and body image.
The findings beg the question, “Does the heart fall in love, or the brain?”
“That’s a tricky question always,” says Ortigue. “I would say the brain, but the heart is also related because the complex concept of love is formed by both bottom-up and top-down processes from the brain to the heart and vice versa. For instance, activation in some parts of the brain can generate stimulations to the heart, butterflies in the stomach. Some symptoms we sometimes feel as a manifestation of the heart may sometimes be coming from the brain.”
Other researchers also found blood levels of nerve growth factor, or NGF, also increased. Those levels were significantly higher in couples who had just fallen in love. This molecule involved plays an important role in the social chemistry of humans, or the phenomenon ‘love at first sight.’ “These results confirm love has a scientific basis,” says Ortigue…
RTFA. Fascinating research. Why try to keep romanticism divorced from science?
In fact, the sense of adventure, quest for knowledge, newer and greater understanding of life and living seems to me to be one of the romantic undertakings there could be. Dullards are the ones afraid of real science.